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jamie92208

Which is you favourite Railway Book.

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"Steam's Last Stand" - survey of the final years of Norfolk and Western steam. Often thumb through it just for sheer pleasure.

 

Dennis

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s'fair enough - means I can move on to 'Colour Light Signalling -Including notes on signalling terms and methods of working ground frames' published by the Southern Area of the LNER in October 1938 'to help Trainmen and Signalmen'. A thoroughly excellent little publication.

 

Now got 2 versions of the LMS block book to read - and one includes all amendments :)

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I used to like Rolt's "Red for Danger" but then I discovered the actual accident reports and while Rolt certainly had a way with words you really can't beat the originals...

 

Bookwise, I have to say my favourite is Brotchie's superb book on the Wemyss Private Railway, but I also have a certain fondness for Hatcher's South Shields, Marsden and Whitburn Colliery Railway

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Well for me it was always Thomas-my dear mother taught me to read the Revd Awdry before I went to school-and from a very early age I wanted to be an employee of the fat controller-Still do for that matter......

 

Nick

 

 

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Red for Danger again.

 

The Cheltenham Flyer - a new railway book for boys of all ages

 

History of the GWR vol 3 - O S Nock

 

....for now!

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I don't have a specific book that I keep coming back to, more like several, and some of them feature the name 'Corris' in the title.....

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To add to my submission above, My Ian Allen combined volume plus locoshed book never leave the chairside bookrack and The railways of Pembrokeshire by Richard Parker has taken more than its fair share of wear & tear since joining the household

 

Nick

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railway adventure - tom rolt

the railway children - edith nesbit

narrow gauge at war - keith taylorson

the garden railway manual - C J freezer

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As a child I read "Enterprising Engines" everywhere, until it fell into the bath.... it survived but a new copy was bought

As a teenager May 1973 issue of Modern Railways featuring an article on the double headed 50s on the WCML - this one never reached the bathroom and I still have it in reasonably good condition

Similarly The Highland Line by Tom Weir

Nowadays it is "British Rail MK2 Coaches - the design that launched Inter City"

 

If anyone knows of a definitive book of the BRCW Class 26, then please let me know as that will be probably be "read to death"

 

JGP

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The one book I always come back to is "The Birdwatcher"and other tales from the footplate, by Stan Wilson ( isbn 1-85794-153-5). It contains numerous short anecdotes about the various characters at a large LMS shed, including Old bucket Ed, a chap who hung a metal bucket on a lower quadrant signal he was stopped at on a foggy night. The idea was when the signal was pulled off the bucket would crash to the ground and alert the crew, but it didn't quite go to plan...and a story of a chap who dropped a floor of an open wagon in the new fangled coaling plant... and many more.

 

Incidentely the book was only a couple of quid second hand through Amazon.

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Two which make their way into my insomnia pile from time to time:

 

I Tried To Run A Railway by G F Fiennes. A fascinating autobiography, in places outspoken and showing what a visionary he was when given half a chance.

 

Beeching; Champion Of The Railway? by R H N (Dick) Hardy. Beeching is remembered and vilified for the closures but not for the more positive work which he did not complete.

 

Chris

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I dread to think how much I've spent on books over the years, but I suppose I've still got most of them. It would be difficult to pick a favourite, but my best effort at a selection would be...

 

NOSTALGIA/"THEY WERE THE DAYS"

 

The already-mentjoned Vaughan "Signalman's" trilogy gets a mention for helping me while away many a long nightshift. I should also mention David St J Thomas's "The Country Railway"- an excellent window into how the railway fit into the world around it. In similar vein "With the LNER in the 20s" by Humphrey Household and "Milk Churns to Merry go Round" are autobiographical tales of railways past that really put you right there.

 

LOCOMOTIVE

 

A tricky category- there are indifferent books on favourite subjects, and excellent books on subjects I wouldn't normally be interested in. David Wardale's "The Red Devil and other tales from the age of steam" isn't really suited to casual, relaxed dipping into- it's technical in the extreme and quite heavy going, but superbly done and very informative (it covers his attempts to modernise steam locos in South Africa, China and elsewhere). John van Reimsdijk's "The Compound Locomotive" is a beautiful, well-researched, readable and persuasive book on a subject not usually covered in any detail. In the "modern" field, two American books I particularly like are "When the Steam Railroads Electrified" and Noel T Holley's magnificent "The Milwaukee Electrics", the latter a brilliant work which covers all the technical detail while remaining well-written and readable.

 

PROFESSIONAL/OFFICIAL

I like official publications, as well as commercial products written for railway professionals. Rules and regulations can be hard work, but there are a few gems out there which are both well illustrated and interesting. I particularly like the GWR's 1947 (I think) general appendix, complete with colour guide to signals, and all kinds of useful photos and diagrams, from the correct way to load a wagon with planks to operation of slip-coach coupling mechanisms. Also worth a look is the Southern's "Signalman's General Instructions" which unusually for SGIs is not just reams of rules, but also a fully illustrated user's guide to every bell, block, describer and token/tablet instrument they owned, in all their bewildering variety.

OS Nock's "single line railways" is actually a manual of railway design construction and operation for the governments of newly independent former colonies. In similar vein there are a series of booklets by the UKRAS (UK railway advisory service) for the same market which are well worth finding, explaining some very technical stuff for the non-technical. Going back another 50 years there is a magnificent 8 volume epic "Modern Railway Working" which forms a complete guide to how to plan, build, equip and run a real railway- and which doesn't seem to cost the earth when it turns up in bookshops (I paid £60 for all 8 volumes, not so long ago).

A similar 'how to' manual was published in 1 volume in 1896 dealing with light and narrow gauge railways, Mackay's "Light Railways". A replica appeared about 15 years ago in a limited edition-grab it if you see it, but I was very fortunate to find an original a couple of years ago, and treasure it- if I could rescue 1 book from a burning house that would be it.

 

NARROW GAUGE- my particular interest.

So many to choose from. In amongst the dense historical works and the fluffy photo albums, there are a few that stand out. Gratton & Band's "The Ashover Light Railway" is simply beautiful, and both Patrick Taylor's "The West Clare Railway" and Hendry & Hendry's "The Manx Northern Railway" are for me examples of how a line history should be done, perfect blends of fact and flavour. Other outstanding titles are both by L G Marshall, "Indian narrow gauge steam remembered" and "Spanish Narrow Gauge steam remembered". These are photo albums, but particularly good ones with excellent, informative captions and quality shots of fascinating subjects.

 

 

MODELLING

Lots of good stuff out there these days, but for me 3 that don't just inform but inspire are:

How to Operate your Railroad- Bruce Chubb. An American book from the 70s, this is an informative, readable step by step guide to taking a layout and turning it into a railway that functions just like the real thing.

The Living Model Railway- R P Hendry: Operations again, with a british flavour. Does exactly what it says on the tin, talking you through a layout which models not just what a railway looks like but what it 'is', using models to simulate the real thing as closely as possible.

A Garden Railway Adventure- Nick Trudgian. Pure inspiration, as the owner and creator tells the beautifully illustrated story of one of the finest garden railways in existence.

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At the risk of repeating myself from another thread, I whittled my favourites down to thirteen titles:

 

The Great Steam Trek (Durrant, Lewis, Jorgensen) - Beautiful locos, beautifully photographed in beautiful surroundings

Red Devil and Other Tales (Wardale) - For understanding how a steam locomotive can work better

Last Steam Locomotives of Eastern Europe (Ransome-Wallis) - An inspiration when there were still many to see for myself

Great Eastern Album (Riley) - A story told in pictures

World of South American Steam (Christiansen, Mills) - First forays in a new continent

When the Steam Railways Electrified (Middleton) - Reprinted, thankfully, as copies of the original edition were rare and expensive

Rails to the Setting Sun (Small) - Prized when found as an affordable copy

Locomotive di Preda Bellica (Roselli) - Full of information, hard to find

Die Lokomotiven der PKP 1918-1939 (Hütter, Holzinger) - History that I had once thought inaccessible

Verzeiches der Deutschen Lokomotiven 1923-1963 (Griebl, Schadow) - Condensed information

Die Lokomotivfabriken Europas / The Locomotive Works of Europe (Slezak) - Invaluable reference

The Steam Locomotive in America: Its Development in the Twentieth Century (Bruce) - Narrative and statistics

World Electric Locomotives (Harris) - The first book to include some of my photographs

 

But then I realise I've missed out:

 

Atlas Lokomotiv 2 - Primer on Czechoslovakian diesels and electrics to the early 'seventies, and a prize find from an early visit.

The Railway Enthusiast's Encyclopaedia (Nock) - Wide (but sometimes shallow) coverage, so much to inspire

 

I could go on...

 

And of course, there's always your first ABC, Locoshed Book or Observer's Book, not to mention your first (Triang-) Hornby (-Dublo) catalogue. How many of us can visualise almost every illustration, if not every page from them?

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My favourite book at the moment is this one http://www.ianallanp...t3nimgfol9qj1d2

 

The Red Dragon and Other Old Friends, which I picked up recently on a visit to the Waterfront Museum at Swansea. It's a self-publishing venture by a group of enthusiasts in the Swansea area. Unlike many "local interest" railway books that you see, the content and production quality of this book are of the highest standard (perhaps not surprising as the printing was done by the admirable Gomer Press) . All the pictures are excellent, but the most notable contributor is one Huw Daniel, whose work goes back to the very early days of nationalisation. For an idea of his style, imagine that Colin T Gifford had been around in the days of Saints and Stars.

 

Superb. Buy it!

 

Andy

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My favourites are:

 

Ironstone Railways and Tramways of the Midlands, by Eric Tonks, and his later 9 volume set on the subject, now published by Booklaw.

 

Signalman's Morning and Signalman's Twilight Adrian Vaughan - bedtime reading!

 

Railway Adventure LTC Rolt - again bedtime reading.

 

'Spent the past 30+ years trying to find a copy of 'Tonks first volume on the Ironstone Tramways at a price which didn't entail selling my soul.

 

The best I've found for a decent copy was £45, the highest significantly over £100. A discussion with Robert Humm in the early '90s after he'd listed one in his catalogue for £85 revealed they are well sought after by collectors overseas which dictated the price he was asking. The internet seems to have fueled this further with one on Amazon recently for $250 with a US dealer.

 

My own favourites would include the 4mm Wagon series by Geoff Kent, Coleman and Rajczonek's extensive volumes on Railways in Northants and Eric Tonks series on the Ironstone Quarries of the Midlands noted above. And Modelling the BR Blue Era which is something of a bible for anyone modelling this period.

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As a child I was given a children's book on railways called "The Railway Book" published in about 1923 (It was secondhand when I got it) which I read over and over again. It was massviely out of date then (its example of a "modern" engine being a GW "Star") but it gave me endless hours of enjoyment.

Edward Beal's "Modelling the Old Time Railways" inspired some of my early modelling.

David Jenkinson's "Rails in the Fells" got me interested in the Settle & Carlisle line, and was the first book I had read that described in detail a particular route. I particularly liked the plans. I still do like books with lots of plans!

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Adrian Vaughn's Signalman trilogy.

 

Superb.

 

Does anyone remeber a series of books, about a lad with a layout where all the figures etc were 'alive'? I had them on permenant loan from the school library!

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Adrian Vaughn's Signalman trilogy.

 

Superb.

 

Does anyone remeber a series of books, about a lad with a layout where all the figures etc were 'alive'? I had them on permenant loan from the school library!

 

I remember these too.....but I also don't know the titles ! These books would have been around in the late 60s/early 70s.

Matt

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Does anyone remeber a series of books, about a lad with a layout where all the figures etc were 'alive'? I had them on permenant loan from the school library!

 

Yes.

The series was called "The model railway men" I can't remember the author's nameat the moment but I seem to recall the setting for the stories was his own layout.

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Hi All

Mine is "Lines to Torrington" wish they would reprint it again, and "Decline of Southern steam" as well.biggrin.gif

Darren01

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The series was called "The model railway men" I can't remember the author's nameat the moment

 

I believe it was Ray Pope.

 

Julian

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Not sure if it has been quoted before but 'Gone With Regret' by George Behrend was one of the best nostalgia books ever written about one of the Big Four.

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Yes.

The series was called "The model railway men" I can't remember the author's name at the moment but I seem to recall the setting for the stories was his own layout.

 

I too enjoyed reading those books and have a set of them. They were a sort of Borrowers for railways. Maybe with DCC the 'Model Railway Men' could become a reality! The figures had names such as 'Telford''Stanier' 'Gresley' and 'Stroudley' and lived in the buildings on the layouts with their families. They were initially not impressed with the boy's layout they were living on and its lack of real railway application. The adventures are centred a lot about them attempting to turn this train set they found themselves on into a proper railway. There was one where they had an encounter with an American enthusiast- lets say that his ideas did not go down well at all with the very British and traditional railwaymen that the Model Railway Men were. A short extract when Telford discovers the visiting Union Pacific 4-8-8-4 loco:

"Telford pointed at the new big loco, almost speechless.

'What's that?' he inquired.

'That's an American loco,' said Mark.

' 'Tis monstrous,' complained the old man. 'It's got four of everything. Gawd- what sort of a train needs h'engine like that. They'm a-showing off.That's it! Proper show-offs they are.'

'Like a run in her?' Mark asked innocently.

Telford stared.

'Aye,' he said. 'Let's see how she goes.' "

 

I hope you forgive the above but it gives a small flavour of the books.

 

Books that I have are:

"The Model-Railway Men" Ray Pope, "The Model-Railway Men Take Over","Telford and the American Visitor" and "Telford Tell the Truth". There are another four that I do not have "Telford's Holiday", "Telford and the Festiniog Railway", "Telford Saves the Line" and "Telford Goes Dutch" (and that is is not about him paying for his share of dinner- Telford would never be caught in one of those fancy restaurant places anyway- preferring to have a mash can of tea and a shovel breakfast on a footplate.)

 

There was another book that I enjoyed called "The Forest of Boland Light Railway" which again was a children's book (not that it has ever stopped me reading them well into adulthood) which was a light railway run in a forest by a bunch of elves.

 

Finally another book from my childhood is "The Secret Railway" by Elisabeth Beresford (of Wombles fame) which is about two children that move from the Midlands to Norfolk and found the disused old station. What follows is a similar sort of story to the Flockton Flyer.

 

Sorry to go a little off track but I have enjoyed being reminded of the 'Model Railway Men' and digging out those books again. I shall be having to have another read of them now!

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I too enjoyed reading those books and have a set of them. They were a sort of Borrowers for railways. Maybe with DCC the 'Model Railway Men' could become a reality! The figures had names such as 'Telford''Stanier' 'Gresley' and 'Stroudley' and lived in the buildings on the layouts with their families. They were initially not impressed with the boy's layout they were living on and its lack of real railway application. The adventures are centred a lot about them attempting to turn this train set they found themselves on into a proper railway. There was one where they had an encounter with an American enthusiast- lets say that his ideas did not go down well at all with the very British and traditional railwaymen that the Model Railway Men were. A short extract when Telford discovers the visiting Union Pacific 4-8-8-4 loco:

"Telford pointed at the new big loco, almost speechless.

'What's that?' he inquired.

'That's an American loco,' said Mark.

' 'Tis monstrous,' complained the old man. 'It's got four of everything. Gawd- what sort of a train needs h'engine like that. They'm a-showing off.That's it! Proper show-offs they are.'

'Like a run in her?' Mark asked innocently.

Telford stared.

'Aye,' he said. 'Let's see how she goes.' "

 

I hope you forgive the above but it gives a small flavour of the books.

 

Books that I have are:

"The Model-Railway Men" Ray Pope, "The Model-Railway Men Take Over","Telford and the American Visitor" and "Telford Tell the Truth". There are another four that I do not have "Telford's Holiday", "Telford and the Festiniog Railway", "Telford Saves the Line" and "Telford Goes Dutch" (and that is is not about him paying for his share of dinner- Telford would never be caught in one of those fancy restaurant places anyway- preferring to have a mash can of tea and a shovel breakfast on a footplate.)

 

There was another book that I enjoyed called "The Forest of Boland Light Railway" which again was a children's book (not that it has ever stopped me reading them well into adulthood) which was a light railway run in a forest by a bunch of elves.

 

Finally another book from my childhood is "The Secret Railway" by Elisabeth Beresford (of Wombles fame) which is about two children that move from the Midlands to Norfolk and found the disused old station. What follows is a similar sort of story to the Flockton Flyer.

 

Sorry to go a little off track but I have enjoyed being reminded of the 'Model Railway Men' and digging out those books again. I shall be having to have another read of them now!

Ahh some real nostalgia

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I can't remember the title but it has a poem that starts 'Tis the end now class 55, the cutters torch you won't survive'.

I also frequently revisit Power of... Westerns/Deltics quite often.

In terms of children's books Stepney the Bluebell Engine and Duck and the Diesel.

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